Las Vegas Sun

October 23, 2018

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Casino to expand, rebrand after sale

The company's proposed additions to The Reserve include a 10,000-square-foot restaurant, an addition to the 41,500-square-foot casino, a parking garage and a food court with five or six fast-food outlets.

"We believe we can make the property perform significantly better than it has," Station Casinos executive vice president and general counsel Scott Nielson told regulators Wednesday. "We plan to retheme and rebrand the property."

Nielson said no decision has been made regarding what name to give The Reserve, but he said it will probably not carry the Station brand name.

The Gaming Control Board voted 3-0 Wednesday to recommend approval of Station Casinos' plans to buy The Reserve from Ameristar Casinos for $70 million after a company lawyer argued that Station Casinos would still control less than 10 percent of Clark County's gambling market.

The Nevada Gaming Commission will meet later this month to consider approving the deal.

The company reached the October deal to buy The Reserve at the same time Ameristar bought Station Casinos' two Missouri riverboats for $475 million.

The riverboat sale was completed in December, freeing Station Casinos from a troubled regulatory environment that saw the company pay a $1 million fine last year to state regulators for problems linked to a former company lawyer.

The Reserve has struggled financially during its three years of operation. The suburban casino competes with Station Casinos' nearby Sunset Station.

The property recorded third-quarter cash flow of $4.5 million for the period ended Sept. 30. That compared with a third-quarter 1999 cash flow loss of $300,000.

The control board agreed with Jack Godfrey, Station Casinos' lawyer, who said the company's statewide and countywide market shares after the purchase would not violate the state's multiple-licensing criteria, which allows regulators to consider the competitive effect of gaming license applications.

In addition to the planned acquisition of The Reserve, the company owns Palace Station, Boulder Station, Texas Station, Sunset Station, Santa Fe Station, Wild Wild West and the Fiesta.

Station Casinos owns a half-interest in Barley's casino as well as the Green Valley Ranch casino under construction in Henderson. The company has a 6.5 percent interest in the $265 million Palms resort under construction on Flamingo Road.

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